Ask Rocketeers to describe Kai Fung Chong and you’ll likely hear them point out her caring nature, dynamic personality and Stable Confidence, one of ServiceRocket’s ten Leadership Behaviors.
A self-described Servant Leader, Kai Fung helps make ServiceRocket a great place to work.
Thirteen years on, she’s as passionate about technology as when she first joined the company. As Lead, Software Engineering, she encourages other Rocketeers to grow and learn.
Kai Fung’s career has steadily advanced over the years; she regularly advocates for women in tech and often leads ServiceRocket’s HackWeek in addition to managing multiple engineering teams in Kuala Lumpur.
Hungry, humble and smart, Kai Fung shared her story and insights with Under the Dome.
The importance of “me” time
Given the abundance of grace she brings to tasks, you might think success comes easily to Kai Fung.
“It's all about putting in the effort consistently and sticking with it,” she notes. A big believer in using the Covey Time Management Matrix to categorize tasks, Kai Fung goes so far as to create a to-do list that includes all her tasks at the start of each week.
She also knows when to cut back.
“Initially, I used to stay up late working after putting my children to sleep; I was also a perfectionist about housework. I soon realized it was taking a toll on my health. Building a good sleep routine has helped greatly in managing my day.”
Her regime leaves room to savor moments for herself, such as enjoying music or savoring a cup of coffee (she’s a member of the Workplace Coffee at Work group at ServiceRocket.)
“Even if it’s for just a few moments each day, I’ve come to realize that self-care is not a luxury.”
The result: she enjoys what she does, both at work and at home.
“My children inspire me. I am constantly amazed by their creativity and ability to find joy in the simplest of things, from the beauty of a flower to the intricacy of an insect's wings.”
Mentors who helped lead the way
In 2010, Kai Fung maintained Atlassian plugins on Confluence and Jira. She progressed to Software Developer, then Java Developer and was later promoted to Senior Software Engineer.
“Throughout my journey at ServiceRocket, I worked with different teams and products, allowing me to learn various technologies and tools and gain invaluable experience.”
Chief among her mentors was Yuen-Chi Lian, Executive Director of Technology.
“I witnessed how YC [as he's known at ServiceRocket] led a small group of engineers to become a large and successful team. He introduced innovative processes that significantly improved our workflow.”
YC has also been an invaluable source of career advice, says Kai Fung. “I know I will learn something new and beneficial from our discussions. I am grateful for his mentorship, which has helped me grow both personally and professionally.”
YC encouraged her to take on a new challenge a few years ago.
“To my surprise, the transition was a success. I'm thoroughly enjoying what I do.”
Assuming the mantle of manager
Today, as engineering manager, Kai Fung prioritizes Rocketeer’s success as her main responsibility. “I take great pride in doing so and strive to cultivate a culture of trust and respect.” She actively listens to ensure her team’s voices are heard and their feedback is taken into account.
As a result, “We can reap the benefits of a high-performing engineering team that feels valued and supported.”
A key part of that culture is giving engineers time to think outside the box.
“That’s why we prioritize learning and dedicate Fridays as our playday, when engineers have the freedom to learn new skills, improve existing products or even create innovative products. Additionally, we have chapters and study groups so engineers can share knowledge in specific domains.”
She says the newer generation of engineering talent brings a fresh perspective to the table. “They are always exploring the latest technologies and experimenting with new approaches to problem-solving.”
That zest for learning has accelerated the number of HackWeeks at ServiceRocket. “We’re building momentum and generating more product concepts than ever before,” she says.
Growing women in tech
Actively involved in organizations like Girls in Tech Kuala Lumpur, Kai Fung is happy to see a growing number of women enter technology.
“Many talented and passionate young women are making significant contributions in the tech industry. I believe that diversity and inclusion are essential for the growth and success of any organization.”
To encourage others, she cites qualities that have defined her successful career.
“Be confident in your abilities and believe in yourself. Stay determined and never give up on your goals."
"Keep your curiosity alive and always be open to learning new things.”
ServiceRocket's engineering teams practice a #ThinkTeam mindset and thrive on #SharingtheKnowledge. Much like Rocketeers around the world, they enjoy an array of amazing global benefits. Join us.
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